Americans Are Spending. Canadians – Act Now!

By: IMA Staff

Export Development Canada (EDC)’s Chief Economist, Peter Hall said in a recent EDC press release that the US Economic Growth is ‘spilling over’ into the global economy and combined with US industrial capacity constraints and the ‘Low-Loonie,’ among other variables, the EDC forecasts Canadian exports will grow 8 per cent by 2016.

“With the current economic conditions, the dollar … The time is now,” affirmed Google Canada’s country director Sam Sebastian, encouraging Canadian SMBs to seize their (online) export opportunities.  Google has reportedly partnered with the EDC to provide Canadians an online tool that will provide a “graphic and data-heavy picture of Canada’s key export markets.”  This will aid SMBs to better target potential international markets during key times such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday during the USA’s Thanksgiving holiday.

Unfortunately, Todd Winterhalt, EDC’s vice-president of international business development says, “with only 4 per cent of Canadian businesses exporting … [and] 60 per cent of Canada’s GDP dependent on trade … it’s a conversation that needs more attention.” Hall adds, “If ever there was a time for businesses, whether small, medium or large, to start exporting to the U.S., it’s now.” (Ref. Why US Sales Are a ‘No-Brainer’)
PiggyBank3

On May 7th, 2015, International Market Access (IMA), Inc., and its “Doing Business in the USA” partners, will present a full day cross-border seminar and professional briefing in Delta, BC, to educate Canadian business owners and professionals how to remove border barriers, take advantage of the exchange rate and earn 20% extra on US sales.  Key Topics:  US Sales & Distribution, US Customs Guidelines, US Business Travel / Immigration and more.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)

Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com
Twitter: @UCanTrade



(Sources: “Google looks to boost worldwide reach of Canadian SMBs” ;  EDC: U.S. industrial capacity constraints will fuel Canadian export growth in 2015)

2015 British Columbia Holidays

By: IMA Staff

Northwest Washington businesses can expect greater numbers of Canadian customers to visit on British Columbia holiday weekends.
Cross-Border

Cross-border travelers increase along the Pacific Corridor during holiday weekends.

2015 BC Statutory Holidays (PDF)
January 01, Thursday  – New Year’s Day
February 09, Monday – Family Day
April 03, Friday – Good Friday
April 06, Monday – Easter Monday*
May 18, Monday – Victoria Day
July 01, Wednesday – Canada Day
August 03, Monday – British Columbia Day (Civic Holiday)
September 07, Monday – Labour Day
October 12, Monday – Thanksgiving Day
November 11, Wednesday – Remembrance Day
December 25, Friday – Christmas Day
December 26, Saturday – Boxing Day*
*These are not statutory holidays in BC, but many BC businesses are closed.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


Packaging – Not Just Impacting Retailers’ Shipping Costs

BY: IMA Staff

With e-commerce on the rise, it’s worthwhile to examine the critical role packaging plays in order fulfillment, a consumer’s satisfaction and how it can influence their willingness to re-purchase or refer your good/service.
Reverse Logistics, Packaging
According to a 2014 online poll ‘Packaging for E-Commerce Success survey’ (conducted by Harris Poll), “58 percent of consumers say that if they receive a damaged or broken product from an online order, they would either consider purchasing from a competitor or would not purchase from that retailer again.” Not only is quality packaging important to protect the goods, it’s important to protect your reputation! (Source)

The survey also indicated packaging is perceived by consumers – particularly those between 18 – 35 years old, as a reflection of the quality of your goods. In other words, better packaging means a better product.

Another important consumer expectation e-commerce retailers really need to know to be successful is that consumers expect an order to be packaged and shipped within 24 hours or less after placing their online order.
Order Fulfillment
At International Market Access (IMA), Inc., we work closely with our clients to fulfill their customer’s orders accurately and quickly. However, we’ve seen first-hand, in the form of returns and repairs, when retailer packaging falls short.

Peering at packaging through an ‘e-commerce lens’, it becomes evident, proper packaging doesn’t just impact a retailers’ shipping cost. Clearly good packaging choices play a huge role in avoiding returns, guaranteeing good customer service and ensuring an overall positive experience that will keep consumers coming back again and again.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


Micro-Multinationals – Small Businesses Can Export Too!

With the help of technology, small and mid-sized business owners, whose companies are dubbed ‘Micro-Multinationals’, are seizing the opportunity to export their goods and services internationally using e-commerce sites and trade partners.

Even with rising shipping costs (Ref. Dimensional Shipping Weight), the Globe and Mail reported Canadian small businesses are still seeing significant revenue increases by selling into foreign markets. Reportedly, an Ontario specialty retailer saw a 500% sales increase in just one year when he started shipping internationally and setting his prices in US dollars (Source).

Canadian export into the US is particularly timely (Ref. Why US Sales Are a ‘No-Brainer’) given the present strength of the US dollar. Quite simply, a sale made in Canada is valued easily 15% less than if the same sale were made in the US. Preparedness, establishing a US Business Identity and partnering with experienced trade service providers is an important part of having success as a ‘micro-multinational’. Export from Canada

On May 7th, 2015, International Market Access (IMA), Inc., and its “Doing Business in the USA” partners, will present a full day seminar and professional briefing in Delta, BC, to educate those interested in learning the basics of cross border trade and establishing a Canadian business across the border in the USA.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


Why US Sales Are A ‘No-Brainer’

dbusaLogo2_web

For Canadian exporters, perhaps more than ever before, NOW is the best time to sell in the USA. According to International Market Access (IMA), Inc.’s president, Jim Pettinger, “It’s a no-brainer.”

Why? Simple.  The US dollar is worth more than the Canadian dollar. If you sell your good or service in the US, it’ll earn you an easy 15% more just because it’s in US funds.

Additionally, eliminating cross-border issues by using US based distribution warehouses and ‘Pick-N-Pack’ order fulfillment centers, like IMA, Canadian exporters not only save exponentially on shipping & handling charges but they instill a US consumer confidence by presenting as a US based business.

Further dollars are saved by reducing cross-border freight movements, and having fewer currency conversions. A hassle-free reverse logistics (returns/repairs) partner means no customs declarations are needed.

On May 7th, a group of veteran Canada/USA and International trade experts will provide practical guidelines to British Columbia entrepreneurs and professionals at a one-day seminar in Delta, BC entitled ‘Doing Business in the USA‘. This comprehensive seminar is designed to give Canadian manufacturers, importers/exporters, distributors, and other business professionals the tools they need to easily expand their business across the border.

Please contact Carol Jackson at 1.800.799.8848 or visit UCanTrade.com for more information.  Register for the seminar HERE.

The ‘Doing Business in the USA’ seminar is sponsored by Cascadia Cross-Border Law, Moss Adams LLP, Law Office of Gene Moses, International Market Access, Inc., Pacific Customs Brokers, Inc., Wells Fargo (Bellingham) Sterling Real Estate Group, Gilmour Knotts Inc., and HUB International.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


UPS/FED EX’s Switch from Actual Weight to Dimensional Weight Hits Small Business’ Bottom Line

In 2015, carriers like UPS and FED EX have made the switch away from charging for a package’s actual shipping weight to charging for its dimensional shipping weight. International Market Access (IMA), Inc.’s Operations Manager, Terry Dickey explains people are often surprised at the significant increase in cost because they are unaware of these dimensional weight charges.

Dimensional weight charges are calculated by multiplying a package’s length by its height and width then dividing it by 166. According to Endicia, a woman’s purse measuring 19x15x5 actually weighs just 2 pounds but its dimensional weight is 9 pounds. This is an average rate increase of 28%!

In some cases just simply reducing a box’s length by a few inches can have a big impact on overall shipping & handling costs. Choosing the right shipping logistics partner is critical to having a cost-effective shipping strategy. Dickey works closely with IMA clients helping them choose which package size and what dimensions are most affordable to match their needs.

IMA Operation Manager, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length package.

IMA Operations Manager, Terry Dickey, handling costly odd-length packages.

International Market Access, Inc.’s 20,000 sqft. warehouse is located 10 minutes south of Blaine, WA along the I-5 corridor. Specializing in Canada USA cross-border order fulfillment and logistics since 1997, our experience, professionalism and 99.8% shipping accuracy rate make us the perfect shipping partner for Canadian exporters.

Please call us at 1-360-380-6900, visit our website at UCanTrade.com or meet us at our next upcoming seminar.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: imawa@ucantrade.com


How Will the Chinese New Year Impact Your Business?

By: IMA Staff

The Chinese New Year has a huge impact on international commerce. In the upcoming weeks, China will prepare to celebrate their New Year. In 2015 it will be the Year of the Goat. There will be fire crackers, dancing dragons, red lanterns and red parcels but did you know that there will also be month long factory shut-downs?

A little-known fact of working with Chinese producers is that many Chinese factories shut down for several weeks during the month long Chinese New Year celebrations. Subsequently, they ‘amp-up’ their productions and exports in the weeks preceding the festival, to meet North American & global order demands. IMA’s Operations Manager, Terry Dickey, says that one of IMA’s clients is currently receiving double the amount of inventory they customarily import, in preparation of the Chinese New year manufacturing hiatus.

The Chinese New year celebrations will begin on Thursday, February 19, 2015.

At International Market Access, Inc. (IMA), our core business has always been to help Canadian entrepreneurs market and distribute their products profitably into the United States. A growing part of that business means helping Canadian businesses import directly from China to the USA.

Import from China To USA

With almost 30 years of international commerce experience and 20,000 square feet of warehouse space, IMA is well-equipped to help North American businesses accommodate the surge in production that precedes the Chinese New year manufacturing shutdown.

If your business is looking for a reliable partner to help with USA warehousing and fulfillment, in preparation for Chinese New Year, or year-round, call IMA’s logistics experts at 360-380-6900.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


Canadian Export Values to Increase In 2015

By:  IMA Staff

According to Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) Magazine, not only are Canada and the US top global investment partners, they also share the ‘largest bilateral trade relationship’ in the world.  Even with existing US Protectionist trade barriers, CME reports the US account for 74% of Canada’s exports.  Due to a recovering US economy, CME says Export Development Canada (EDC) is forecasting a 12% growth in value from Canada’s 2013 Export Value of $334.7 billion by 2015.

International Market Access, Inc.’s CEO, Jim Pettinger, suggests a weak ‘Loonie’ is another driving factor in increased Canadian, specifically British Columbian, company exports to the US.  “Although most U.S. markets will usually support premium pricing anyway,” says Pettinger, “the weak Loonie is adding at least another 10% to the bottom line.”

Are you interested in doing business in the USA?  International Market Access, Inc. is a reliable partner with over 30 years of cross border trade experience.  Learn more at UCanTrade.com or call 360.380.6900.

Peace Arch

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


Source: Weak ‘Loonie’ drives interest in US sales by BC Companies
Source: CME’s 20/20 Nov-Dec 2014 article, “Penetrating US trade barriers remains challenging for Canadian exporters.”

Six Eyes On Every Box

By: IMA Staff

Technology is great. We love technology. But relying on machines alone without human verification can cause things to go haywire.

That’s why at IMA, every shipment is triple checked before it leaves our warehouse not once, not twice, but three times.

In the warehousing and logistics industry, a 1-2% error rate is considered standard. Sending 1 or 2 of every 100 packages to the wrong address is “business as usual” in many operations.

That’s not good enough for our clients, and it’s not good enough for us. So, we triple-check everything before it ships.

Our staff are some of the most experienced in the industry, and not one, not two, but three of our warehouse professionals view, verify, and sign off on every box before it leaves our warehouse.

The result? An accuracy rate of over 99.8%.

Reverse Logistics, Shipping, Handling, Warehousing

Experienced staff. Triple-checked shipments. Six eyes on every box.

If you need a trusted logistics partner to handle your USA warehousing and ‘pick & pack’ shipping needs with accuracy and attention to detail, Call us at 360-380-6900.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com


US Carriers Shipping On ‘Black Friday’

By: Jim Pettinger

Americans are known worldwide as hard workers who take little time off for holidays and vacations compared to others. However, Thanksgiving is a major exception. The holiday itself is celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November, but the preceding week and following weekend are probably more festive and family-oriented for Americans than is Christmas week in other countries. In addition, the growing traditions of “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” only increase the frenzy around the holiday.

Canadian shoppers and businesses that export should take note: First, border lineups will be longer than any other time of year; check wait times before you go at the link on our website at www.UCanTrade.com.  And second, most non-retail businesses are closed on Thursday, November 27th with limited hours on Friday.  Consequently, make sure all your U.S. orders are filled and shipped early this week.Thanksgiving, US Holiday, Cross-Border

NEW this year, all U.S. carriers are offering full services for all shipments on ‘Black’ Friday, November 28th!  This comes in response to a significant increase in e-commerce orders which resulted in some late Christmas deliveries last year.

The good news is that, like last year, American internet shoppers will be on their computers for many more hours than usual. In fact, many internet retailers now recognize “Cyber Monday” as a great day to hold major discount sales similar to what their brick and mortar counterparts offer on “Black Friday”.

Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Trade Tips Blog is published by International Market Access, Inc.

International Market Access, Inc.
“USA Business Services for Canadian Importers/Exporters”
(Freight Management, Warehousing, Fulfillment, Returns/Repairs)
Website: www.UCanTrade.com
Phone: 360-380-6900
Email: ima@UCanTrade.com